Sometimes you just have to get the heck out of Dodge. It's as simple as that. Everyone has a type of activity that allows them to refresh and let go of the B.S. of the daily grind. For me it is very much about getting in the car, being on the road, a change of scenery, getting into nature, the physical exercise of hiking or backpacking, and sleeping outside. I went camping at the lovely Caprock Canyons State Park last month. It remains pleasantly uncrowded, unlike most of the parks closer to Austin in the Hill Country, and there is something about driving into the Panhandle or West Texas that speaks to my soul. It's one of the areas of Texas where I can still feel like I am walking that line between insider and outsider, not quite part of the culture but close enough to understand and appreciate it (as opposed to East Texas where I am most definitely an outsider). And to go anywhere west, it's like a great barrier that must be crossed. Many people scorn it as monotonous and endless driving. I embrace it as an integral part of the journey. In my mind, a road trip is not a road trip if if does not include passage through that huge expanse. And there is beauty there to those who will see it.
It was a short weekend trip. I pulled into the park after dark the first night and car camped at a pull-up site. The next morning I made a short back-packing trek to the primitive sites, then hiked around the park. As backpacking goes, it was easy, and allowed me to wander around the nearby environs, rock scrambling and hiking up to the top of the rim before returning to camp for a very leisurely evening of cooking and eating and star-gazing.
This miso soup was a new camping recipe to try... I am always trying new ideas to find favorites. My early years of camping and backpacking while sustaining myself off of store-bought canned stews (heavy, and pretty gross) and prepackaged dehydrated meals (lightweight and better quality, but hard on the ol' digestive system) left me with a slight obsession with developing fresher, healthier, and tastier backpacker-friendly meals. This is a new favorite. Obviously, this can be easily made at home as well.
Miso Noodle Soup
Adapted from the The New Moosewood Cookbookby Mollie Katzen
Yield: 2 servings
- 4 C water
- 4 T miso paste
- 6 oz rice noodles
- 2 C chopped greens of your choice (1 kind or a mix)
- 1 C cubed medium firmness tofu
- Break the noodles into small pieces and place in a quart-size zip-top bag.
- Chop greens and tofu and place each in a separate, small zip-top bag. The tofu should have a little bit of water (or the liquid it was packed in) added to keep it from drying out.
- Measure the miso and place in a small zip-top bag.
- Place the 3 smaller bags into the bag with the noodles, store in cooler during travel. It's okay to remove these from the cooler and carry in your backpack to cook that evening.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Add the noodles, and let cook, stirring frequently to prevent them sticking to the bottom (often a problem with many camp stoves).
- Depending on how you prefer your greens, you can add them at the same time as the noodles to more fully cook them, or at the end to wilt them. I added mine when the pasta was about halfway cooked.
- When the noodles are almost done, stir in the miso and continue stirring until dissolved.
- Stir in the tofu and transfer to bowls.
- Eat it up and feel the warmth come back into your extremities... and happy camping!
- Picnics, Parks, and Mamas
- T.C.'s Ponderosa: Dickens, TX
- Alamo Springs Cafe and Enchanted Rock
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Broccoli-Beer-Cheese Soup
I love, love, love this cookbook. I've made so many great recipes from here and it was definitely integral in my cooking self-education. Check it out.